The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has started to file criminal charges against the worst offenders who avoid paying tolls, writes Scott Calvert for The Wall Street Journal.
The Commission is asking local prosecutors to pursue theft-of-services criminal cases in unpaid sums of more than $2,000.
The Top 100 scofflaws in the Keystone State each have more than $21,000 in unpaid tolls and fees. One motorist is accused of accumulating approximately $90,000 over the last six years by using the E-ZPass lane more than 1,600 times without a valid transponder.
Now, according to Neil Gray – government affairs director at the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association – Pennsylvania is taking the issue to a whole new level.
“I haven’t heard of anyone going to this level before,” he said.
Tolls collected are used to maintain and upgrade the roads and repay the bonds used to build them. Unpaid tolls cost the Pennsylvania Turnpike around $17 million a year.
Ray Morrow, the Turnpike’s chief of compliance, said that the Commission has already filed 13 private criminal complaints. In one, the judge approved a payment case, while the others are still pending.
Read more about unpaid tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in The Wall Street Journal here.